Should cursive be written out of the curriculum?
A poll from our readers indicates that the overwhelming majority of people passionate enough to weigh in on the topic says it shouldn't. Eighty-two percent of our (more than 400, as of this post) readers agreed that cursive writing, in some way, still has value, and 18 percent said it should cease to be taught.
But what has been called a stale skill has spurred a fresh debate about what the next generation's set of literacy skills should include. My colleague Liz Bowie explored the local debate in a story this weekend.
I was so excited that Liz took on this topic, having been shocked (and somewhat appalled) when my mother, a retired teacher, recently scoffed at my argument that my favorite elementary school subject should still be an integral part of learning basic skills of reading and writing.
I was the student who sat at Dickey Hill Elementary School (not too, too long ago) and constructed the cursive alphabet (upper case and lower case) in dotted lines, just to trace them for practice. My notebooks were filled with the graffiti of perfecting my signature--which I considered the only thing other than my fingerprints that secured my identity.
In the city, many sources have offered their thoughts on the topic (it was quite a talker), and I wanted to feature one below. It was a perspective I hadn't thought of--one of what priorities should be in an urban school district.
“I’m in the camp that agrees that in this day and age, in this technology-driven society, that cursive has less relevance than ever," said Anthony Japzon, principal of the high-performing Medfield Heights Elementary School, who also taught cursive as a third-grade teacher.
"I would say that you are a private school, a successful school, and 98 percent of your school is on grade level, then you can teach cursive. But, in today’s society, we don't do our children any favors-- if they’re a grade or two below grade level in reading and math-- spending any time teaching cursive."